Thinking about setting up your own kennel? This can be rewarding work if you are a dog lover and people will always need to find places to care for their dogs while they
are away, but you will need much more than a love of dogs in order to succeed in this industry.
Setting up and operating a successful kennel will require hard work, commitment, and patience, but provided you are willing to put the work in and offer an excellent service then there is no reason why you can’t find success.
Here are a few tips to get started:
Market Research & Business Plan
Much like any new business venture, you first need to carry out thorough market research to identify whether or not it is a viable business option and who your main
competitors and target customers are. Look into the competition and think about what they are doing well and where they could make improvements.
You should then draft a detailed business plan which will outline the path for the business to follow initially. In addition to providing guidance throughout the project, a detailed business plan is also vital for funding (more on this to come).
Branding is always important as this is how you differentiate yourself from the competition and showcase your brand’s personality. Due to the nature of the industry,
you want to cultivate a friendly and welcoming image to put your client’s at ease.
Although you will want to be approachable, you should also retain an air of professionalism and not be too colloquial – this is a business, after all.
There will be a fair amount of costs to get a kennel up and running along with typical business costs. If you need to secure funding, then there are a few options available to you, including
venture capitalists, crowdfunding, angel investors, and a bank loan.
If you take out a loan but do not have great credit, then it is worth looking at Crediful’s best companies who specialize in rebuilding credit.
You must also build a strong online presence in order to attract clients. The company website needs to be attractive, modern, and easy to use so it might be worth using an experienced web designer. The website should contain detailed information on the services that you provide, pictures of the kennels and facilities, staff profiles, and testimonials from previous customers (very important).
A strong online presence will also involve being active across social media. Social media is a great tool for kennels because you can keep people updated with photos and videos of the dogs that you are currently looking after (people will always engage with photos of cute dogs!). You could also create and share content about looking after dogs to show your expertise.
Digital marketing is also a smart investment as this can increase your visibility online, boost your reputation and make more people aware of your kennel.
The key to running a successful kennel is providing an exceptional service where people feel happy and confident leaving you in charge of their furry friends. This is not an easy feat as it can be difficult emotionally to leave a dog and some dogs are particularly hard work. This means that you need to have a team of passionate staff who know how to look after dogs and are willing to work hard.
You could also look to offer a few different services to separate yourself from the competition. In addition to kennels, you could provide a service where a staff member looks after people’s dogs in their own home, a dog grooming service, training classes and a shop where people can buy dog toys, treats, accessories etc.
Run It Like A Business
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when setting up a kennel is to let their love of animals interfere with the business side. Although it is important to have a love of dogs, it is important to run the kennel like a business so you must always consider factors like cutting costs, charging a competitive rate, employing the right people and placing enough focus on areas like accounting, insurance, security etc.
Running a kennel can be fun and rewarding work, but it is also hard work and difficult to establish your company early on. The above tips should help you to build a solid foundation and provide you with everything that you need to find success in this industry. A love of dogs is, of course, important, but do not forget the business side because this is how you turn profit and beat the competition.